Appreciating Your Space
My name is Ali and I’m a third year Journalism and Interaction Design major. This is my first semester on Scout, and I’m currently a designer on our conference team (wooooo!!!). Since COVID-19 hit over a year ago, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we’ve been largely constrained to internal spaces — how our homes have shifted from territories of rest to extensions of work and stress. As we’ve worked from home, Zoomed from home, and slept from home, it can feel hard to alter the mundane and create a space that’s consistently fulfilling and energizing. I’ve lived in three places over the pandemic — a shoebox apartment in New York City, my childhood bedroom in Kansas, and now, my exposed brick, sunshiney (albeit mice-infested) apartment on Hemenway Street. In their own ways, all three of these spaces are home because of the connection I felt with the space itself, because of the person I was (and am) within that space.
I’d like to share some artists/art that helps me visualize and understand what it means to form home out of a space, both physically and emotionally.
Sophie is a furniture designer I found on Instagram recently. Her work is dreamy, spacious, and spontaneous; it feels handmade for the spaces it’s designed for. Her use of organic shapes to create inherently structured and useful objects feels like the perfect dichotomy between form and disform. I don’t personally own any of her pieces (sad), but I love looking at her work as a way to visualize my space and self.
Kate is a digital illustrator who creates gorgeous, ephemeral pieces. Her editorial illustrations have been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Atlantic, and so many more publications (which, for a journalism nerd like me, geeks me out). The bright colors and soft grains and textures she uses bring her concepts to life. To me, her work feels intimate and familiar, but at the same time otherworldly and strangely psychedelic. (She also recently published some handmade textures on Adobe, and I can’t get enough of them.)
I know this is a bit of a different suggestion for us visual learners, but I wouldn’t be the journalism student I am if I didn’t include this piece. Here, Kyle Chayka writes beautifully about digital capitalism, about how — especially throughout the pandemic — we’re constantly consuming and not creating. I felt this heavy, especially because of the past year. This piece helped me better understand exactly how “nothingness” has consumed my spaces — and how I can move in the opposite direction. (It’s a long read, so hunker down, but I can’t recommend it more. There’s an audio version of it, too!)
And to wrap up with another nod to physical space, this Instagram account posts beautiful shots of curated homes. Each is different, and each shines through with distinct furniture pieces or themes, a compilation of pastels and bright colors and funky patterns. It’s a great source of home inspiration that feels personal and true to the artists and creators it houses. I scroll through when I need inspiration, on either a 3D or 2D level.
Thanks for reading!! Shoot me a Slack if you ever wanna chat about the intricacies of home or the intersection of journalism and design!!!
Xoxo, Ali 🤸🏻♀️🤠✨
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